Saturday was already the third evening of Swingin’ Groningen. I attended the first evening but had to pass on the second evening (missing the fantastic Dirty Dozen Brass Band). However I was able to make it to the third and last evening of this edition that held some interesting names.
As I arrived Ntjam Rosie played at the Waagplein stage and can’t think of a better way to start the festival. Gorgeous voice, great band and with a hairstyle like Ntjam’s I was hooked immediately, a lovely African rooted neo-soul injection into this festival. Heavenly and the perfect start of this last festival day.
As Ntjam Rosie’s gig ended I made my way to the Grote Markt stage where the Prins Claus Conservatory Big Band was about to start. The Big Band is formed by musicians that study or have studied at the Prins Claus Conservatory and includes members from all over the world. First the band -directed by Kurt Weiss- performed a couple of songs on their own and then brought in singer Hiske Oosterwijk (all the way from Friesland). Once the gig was well under way, they welcomed their guest saxophone player Yuri Honing, one of the foremost leading Dutch Jazz saxophone players.
After that I walked back tot the Waagplein stage to see Nick van Gelder’s gig. As Dutch as his name sounds, Nick is English and one of the original members of Jamiroquai‘s band playing drums. He’s still drumming now in his own band and in part singing vocals. He’s assembled a great deal of musicians around him including a brass section playing funked up jazz. In all not bad but it sounded a bit too slick for my taste.
Over on the Ellebogen stage Amsterdam based band The Jig was very busy having a ball and the audience there joined them only too eagerly. Groovy funky jazz with the brass section placed firmly center stage taking the lead this was a fantastic gig. Only too bad that some very heavy rain broke up the party for a while. But once dry again the rain was soon forgotten, the music was too much fun!
Back at the Grote Markt stage the German jazz-collective Jazzanova Live started the last gig on the main stage. With American guest singer/bassplayer Paul Randolph they formed their gig with jazz, soul, Latin and funk. Sounded great, but personally I prefer a smaller, more intimate setting.
Luckily that was provided at the Ellebogen stage where Lilian Vieira (originally from Brazil but living in the Netherlands these days) played a wonderful warm, danceable groovy jazz set. Lilian is best known for her part in Zuco 103, but ‘on her own’ with the band she had with her now it sounds just as great. The Brazilian touch to the music was just what the festival needed to end on a high.